Every Tuesday I take a look at obscure and/or classic television programs, specials, miniseries or made-for-TV movies being released on DVD or Blu-ray. For the record I consider anything broadcast prior to 1980 to be classic or else there wouldn’t be much to discuss. The releases referred to in these posts are encoded for Region 1 use in the United States and Canada.
More than two years ago, in August of 2009, it was announced that NBC’s 1976 Saturday morning sitcom Big John, Little John would be coming to DVD in October of that year. The release date was postponed a number of times but today the 2-disc set is finally hitting stores. Big John, Little John – The Complete Series, from VCI Entertainment, contains all 13 episodes as well as a gallery of stills.
eOne Entertainment has two new releases out today, both of which are technically re-releases. One is It Takes a Thief – The Complete First Season, which contains all 16 episodes from the 1967-1968 season (the series was a mid-season replacement that debuted in January of 1968). A complete series set was released last November. The second is The Abbott and Costello Show – The Complete 1st Season, with all 26 episodes from the 1952-1953 season. The series ran for two seasons, both of which saw individual season releases in 2006. In 2010, a complete series set was released. So this is a re-re-release, although to be fair the 2006 individual season set is out of print. Another series that is seeing individual season releases after a complete series set was released is The Six Million Dollar Man, which had its complete series set issued as a Time-Life Exclusive in November of 2010. Today, The Six Million Dollar Man – Season 2 is being released by Universal Home Video.
Finally, from Paramount Home Video comes Bonanza – The Official Fourth Season, available in two sets (Volume 1 and Volume 2) or as a complete season “value pack,” which is simply both volumes sold together.
2 Replies to “DVD Tuesday: Big John, Little John; The Abbott and Costello Show; Bonanza”
Big John/Little John (Herb Edelman/Robbie Rist) was part of arguably the worst Saturday morning lineup of all time. NBC went all live-action (Kids from C.A.P.E.R., Redhand Gang, et al) after the stalwart Pink Panther, and failed miserably. The lineup was junked by springtime, and set into motion the spiral in which all of Saturday daytime never really recovered from
I bought Big John Little John on DVD, as I’d been a big fan of the show when it was on Saturday mornings (I was 11 years old at the time.). I discovered the show somewhere around January 1977 and managed to watch all 13 episodes at least once in reruns. I recently finished watching the whole series on DVD, and while it was cute to see again, I have to wonder what I saw in it at the time. I watched Kids from CAPER (which a friend pointed out was very Monkeesesque) on occasion, and caught the opening of Monster Squad a few times.
The Red Hand Gang appeared on NBC Saturday mornings the next season, and I saw bits & pieces of that show too, which had 3 different stories in serialized form over 13 or so episodes. The first story had tv veterans Anthony Zerbe, James Hampton & Maureen Arthur as kidnappers who held the son of wealthy parents hostage on a boat.